Obama’s economic advisor, Alan Krueger, dies

Alan Krueger, a groundbreaking Princeton University economist who served as a top adviser in two Democratic administrations and was an authority on the labor market, has died, according to a statement from the university Monday.

The economist took his own life during the weekend, according to a separate statement from Krueger’s family that the university released. He is survived by his wife, Lisa, and two adult children, Benjamin and Sydney.

Krueger, 58, devoted much of his research to the job market and, in particular, to the impact of a minimum wage. His work concluded that a higher minimum wage did not generally slow hiring as many conservative critics have argued.

After serving as a Labor Department economist under President Bill Clinton, Krueger worked for President Barack Obama as a top Treasury official and then as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers from 2011 to 2013.

In a statement, Obama credited Krueger with helping revive the U.S. economy after the devastating 2008 financial crisis.

“He spent the first two years of my administration helping to engineer our response to the worst financial crisis in 80 years and to successfully prevent the chaos from spiraling into a second Great Depression,” Obama said. “He helped us return the economy to growth and sustained job creation, to bring down the deficit in a responsible way and to set the stage for wages to rise again.”

Cecilia Rouse, dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School for Public Policy and International Affairs, said she first met Krueger during the 1980s when she was a student at Harvard University and he was a graduate student there.

“He was incredibly creative, dedicated and prolific,” Rouse said. “He couldn’t have been a better friend or mentor. It’s a loss for economics and public policy.”

Krueger had been teaching at Princeton since 1987. His research extended to such issues as economic inequality and the consequences of opioid addiction for the job market.

He also applied his economic work to some unconventional areas, from terrorism to the music industry. Krueger found, for example, a surging wealth gap within pop music. In a 2005 paper, he illustrated how a rising share of concert revenue was flowing to a narrow top sliver of recording artists. Krueger went on to write a book about economics and the music industry, “Rockonomics,” that is set to be published in June.

While serving under Obama, Krueger developed and popularized the concept of the “Great Gatsby Curve.” It showed that high economic inequality corresponds with low economic mobility on a generation-to-generation basis. In short, it meant that when economic disparities between the rich and everyone else are wide, people’s ability to improve their financial health depends even more heavily on their parents’ economic status.

The curve was named after F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic literary character Jay Gatsby, who rose from being a poor Midwestern boy to a wealthy bootlegger.

But Krueger was perhaps best-known for his research on the minimum wage with David Card. Their 1993 paper found that a rise in New Jersey’s minimum wage had had no effect on employment in the state’s fast food sector compared with the same sector just across the state line in Pennsylvania.

Widely admired in both economic and political circles, Krueger was known as an avid tennis player and for frequently taking time to discuss the nuances of public policy with reporters.

Gene Sperling, who worked with Krueger in the Obama administration as the director of the National Economic Council, tweeted Monday that he was, “Just shocked, just stunned, so, so saddened.”

“Alan has been my friend and colleague for over 20 years — and one of the very most consequential economists of our generation,” Sperling said. “His path-breaking work on minimum wage was only one of many ways he used his genius for the good of all.”

In his statement, Obama said of Krueger:

“He had a perpetual smile and a gentle spirit — even when he was correcting you. That’s what made him Alan a fundamentally good and decent man.”

News Videos
Report knocks Las Vegas for ozone, but local officials cite improvement
The American Lung Association says Las Vegas has some of the highest ozone levels in the nation, but Clark County air quality officials insist the community is improving when it comes to the smog-causing pollutant. (Michael Quine)
It's Rattlesnake Season
As temperatures start to rise in the Las Vegas area, people are heading outside for various activities. Possibly hiking and maybe with a dog. People and pets aren’t the only creatures coming out of their winter homes – so are snakes. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NHP Trooper sustains dog bite during rescue
A small dog loose on the freeway bites the hand of an Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper that saved it.
Henderson fails to investigate the drug overdose death of one of its officers
Henderson Police Department's internal affairs did not investigate the 2014 drug overdose death of an officer. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NHP trooper and good Samaritans save a life
Nevada Highway Patrol trooper Jacob Fisher and a group of good Samaritans performed lifesaving CPR on a driver suffering a heart attack last month in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Syphilis Awareness Day
Dr. Joe Iser, District Health Officer of the Southern Nevada Health District, discusses the effects and issues with syphilis in the Las Vegas community on April 16, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas diocese IDs 33 ‘credibly accused’ of sexual abuse
The Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas released a list on Friday of 33 “credibly accused” of sexual abuse who at some point served in the Las Vegas Valley. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CCSD Arbor View meeting
The Clark County School Board hears from the public about racial tensions at Arbor View High School on Thursday, April 11, 2019. (Amelia Park-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Parents of autistic student battle Clark County School District
Joshua and Britten Wahrer, parents of a special education student, are battling the Clark County School District for the right to equip their son with a monitoring device. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Metro homeless outreach a shift in strategy
Lt. Joe Sobrio discusses the new homeless outreach team for Metro. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Prayer for Opportunity Scholarships
Las Vegas students and adults hold a prayer meeting about the Opportunity Scholarship program on Thursday, April 4, 2019. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Solar scams on the rise in Nevada
As Nevada’s solar industry has made a resurgence, solar scammers have followed suit.
Clark County schools and the late bus issue
Year after year, late or no-show buses in the Clark County School District draw the ire of parents and students alike. One year the problem even prompted a parent to crack a school bus window in frustration over a late drop-off. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
I-15 southbound congested near Primm Sunday afternoon
Drivers heading toward California on Interstate 15 should expect heavy traffic and a 13-mile backup Sunday afternoon.
Learning lifesaving skills in advance of fire season
Students and firefighters attend a training session at Fire Station 80 in Blue Diamond, Saturday, March 30, 2019. The training session helps volunteer firefighters obtain necessary annual certification to work wild fires.
Car restoration behind prison walls
Inmates share their experiences working for the Southern Desert Correctional Center auto body shop in Indian Springs while learning valuable skills.
Parent remembers Las Vegas boy killed by car
People visit a memorial at the intersection of South Fort Apache Road and West Arby Avenue at at Faiss Park Wednesday, March 27, 2019, where Jonathan Smith, 12, of Las Vegas, died after he was struck while crossing Fort Apache Monday. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Couple left with surprise medical bills after visit to the hospital
Michael Pistiner took his wife, Marta Menendez-Pistiner, to the ER in January after she fainted twice and appeared to be having a seizure. Despite paying $856 monthly for health insurance, the two, self-employed musicians, were stuck with more than $5,700 in hospital and doctor bills after than hour-and-a-half visit. Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Las Vegas police brief the media on fatal crash
Metropolitan Police Department Capt. Nick Farese addresses the media about a car accident at South Fort Apache Road and West Arby Avenue that left one minor dead and one hospitalized on Monday, March 25, 2019. (Mike Shoro/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Arbor View parent talks about racial issues at the school
Lawanna Calhoun, a former Arbor View parent, talks about the state of the school. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jim Foley talks about 30 years of living HIV-positive
Jim Foley, who was diagnosed as HIV positive 30 years ago, talks at his home in Las Vegas on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Traffic Slows to a Crawl on I-15S Near Primm
Traffic slowed to a crawl around 2:30p Sunday, on I-15S near Primm, Nevada.
Homeless residents speak about safety
The homeless residents living at the corner of Owens Ave. and Main St. reflect on how they feel about their safety after two homeless men died, one was hit crossing the street and another was beat to death by another homeless man. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
CCSD Superintendent address alleged racially motivated threats at Arbor View
CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara gives update on alleged racially motivated threats against Arbor View High School, and says such threats will not be tolerated. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Super Bloom Near Lake Elsinore, California
Crowds packed the hills near Lake Elsinore on Saturday to capture a rare selfie amidst the super bloom of poppies turning the landscape purple. The super bloom was caused by the larger rainfall this year. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fiery accident in Las Vegas
A three-car accident on Spring Mountain Road around 6:30 pm on Monday night
A bipartisan coalition holds simultaneous rallies to promote criminal justice
A bipartisan coalition holds simultaneous rallies to promote criminal justice. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Stardust implosion anniversary
Twelve years ago today, the Stardust Resort and Casino was imploded. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Lawsuits filed against security contractors at Nevada National Security Site
Two lawsuits were filed today against the current and former government security contractors for the Nevada National Security Site, one on behalf of Jennifer Glover who alleges sexual discrimination and assault and the other on behalf of Gus Redding who alleges retaliation after he gave statements supporting Glover’s claims. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New housing option helps Las Vegas moms keep kids while kicking drugs
WestCare Nevada Women and Children’s Campus in Las Vegas has added a new transitional housing wing for women who have completed the inpatient treatment at the behavioral health nonprofit to help them as they go through outpatient treatment, shore up their finances and prepare to secure long-term housing. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
TOP NEWS
Home Front Page Footer Listing